How does that make sense? You pay a doctor to perform an operation. What if you can only afford up to half of it (if that much). Is the doctor supposed to perform only a half of the operation? That is what we are in effect saying with legislation like this: School choice is the best education that you can buy. Ironically, this is something that you can see very clearly from this link to the Khabele School website. Not to disrespect Khabele, by the way. Private options are great to have for those that want and can afford them. That's why they're called "private schools." To sacrifice the public's hard-earned, tax dollars—that should go toward public education—on the altar of "school choice" is disingenuous, at best, and a money grab, at worst.
Privatizing public education—publicly-funded vouchers—will further create a system whereby (unlike public schools) they eliminate those structures like school boards about which we have a vote. Education reduces to a contract between a school and a parent, curtailing many children's rights to services like bilingual education and specific classroom environments needed for many special education children, etc. And then to top it off, voucher-receiving private schools don't want and are "conveniently" not subject to public accountability. Major rip off! Take the money and run!
Even when they say that they advocate for the public interest, this, too, is a smokescreen. They clearly lack a commitment to the very hard work of fixing our public schools. Plus, who are they anyway? Our state beat down vouchers for over a decade. Our community is clearly supportive of public education. Most of us are products of public education. Not that we are by any means apologists for its excesses to the degree that they exist—and high-stakes testing policies are a great example of this—but rather that public schools have always been the bedrock of our democracy. And if there is a problem with our democracy, the solution isn't to end it. The solution in all instances is MORE democracy.
Their proposals are an empty bag of promises that will (further) distract us from the important work that must be done to eliminate high-stakes test, equitably and adequately fund public education and expand opportunities for our state's large and growing minority—Latino and African American— demographic.
Though not perfect and always a work in progress, let's mend and not end public education.
Commentary: School choice is crucial for Texas economy
There is one way to assure Texas’ dominance on the economic front in future years, a way to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, a way to boost the overall economy by up to 30 percent and increase property values in Texas by 20 percent or more. In addition to those huge economic benefits, at the same time we can drive up teacher pay, improve working conditions for teachers and improve the performance of our public schools.
A recent report by Arthur Laffer summarizes these findings. That report can be found at